have to confess that I found your presentations very interestingly fascinating. I had an opportunity to hear you out in three occasions. One was your first article, the second was your appearance, I believe on the Sunrise TV network and the third was your rebuttal to your critics. What I found interesting were the unmistakable presence of the energy, exuberance and excitement in your presentations. Not missing in action is also your reasonable intelligence that chaperoned your articulation. But there was this oddness about your presentation that did not add up right. Your presentation seemed too strident, inordinately defensive and too scripted particularly on your TV appearance, you kept returning to your talking points a.k.a script, an indication of a pro at work, employing the ultimate filibuster stratagem by pretending as if you had something new to say and hugging as much time as the moderators would let you and saying the same things over and over to the total disregard for the actual issue and given your interlocutors less time to say their piece. The moderators unfortunately were hoodwinked.
What also bothered me was how a smart, intelligent and articulate fellow like you could miss the crux of why you were asked to appear on TV which is the issue of citizenship. From your performance it is obvious that you deliberately appeared on that program to adumbrate and obfuscate the real issue of the conversation which is what does it means to be a citizen of Nigeria? But for your own purposes and agenda you wanted to make the issue a case of whether Fashola is a good man or not. But the goodness of Fashola was never the question. The question was whether Fashola's policy in this instance of removing Nigerian citizens under any circumstance is constitutional or not. That was the question and still the question. No one is debating whether Fashola is a good man or not, as a matter of fact no one needs you to tell us that because we can discern that for ourselves. Because I could not tell whether the ignorance that you demonstrated was pure and unadulterated or devised ignorance, I decided to make a few calls to some of my acquaintances in the media. The response I got was not surprising. I was informed that you are a mercenary writer and speaker and that this is how you have been making your living for the past 15 years defending military personnel, politicians and business men/women when they get in trouble by presenting them in the best of light, managing their damage control and helping them in remaking their image, which when translated means that when folks get into hot water they call you or you call them, they pay you to write good things about them and you do and all is well, they are happy and you are happy and the country continues its unmitigated match towards Armageddon. What you are basically is a paid hack. There is nothing particularly wrong with how you make your living but I believe that you must be familiar with the term "full disclosure" for the benefit of your readers and listeners.
Having said that, I kind of wondered whether there is any case that your consulting firm will not defend even if you were paid for it because that question goes to ones integrity, decency, honor and probity. I hesitate to ask how you could do this to your people, not that Igbo cannot do without folks like you but because the reality is that this is not an Igbo issue, it is a Nigeria issue and a citizenship issue. Knowing what I know now, I am inclined to think that you might not be as ignorant as you made yourself out to look and that your presentation was well calculated to achieve an intended objective for who was paying the piper and for your money. But peradventure that there is a slim probability that you are actually as ignorant and dense as you came across on this particular issue your exuberance notwithstanding and that your inability to connect with the issue in question is not deliberate, I will still go ahead and set the record straight for the benefit of your readers. For your information, you will not be the first to host or embody both brilliance and profound naivety.
The other thing that I found disturbing in your response to your critics is your sustained failure to recognize that your critics are really making a difference argument from the argument that you were making because if you had recognized that different argument you will have no choice but to recalculate and change course. On the other hand what does one expect from a paid hack? The more the controversy rages on the more the merrier for you. I believe that it is important to individuate the issues in this Yoruba and Igbo bouleversement, obviously not leaving the north out of it. Now, Mr. Adinuba, I think that it is important that you recognize that there are two similar but distinct issues in this communion and I believe that that is where the miscommunication is emanating from. The first argument is an argument you personally devised to becloud and divergate. As a paid hack you wanted the argument to be about the character, decency, goodness, honesty, integrity, probity, rectitude and virtues of Fahola and not the constitutionality of his policies. The question at hand has not been whether Fashola is a good man or not. I believe that honest folks will agree with you that if you excluded the kind of taxes Lagos state is extracting from Igbo businesses that Fashola will be considered to be a reasonably good man. Unfortunately, that is not the argument that your critics are making, your critics are making a case of citizenship which seems to elude you which is different from whether or not Fashola has been good to Igbos in Lagos. Your critics are talking about the concept of country, concept of citizenship. They are not really disagreeing with you as to whether Fashola is a good man, they are simply saying that your apologia is the wrong one for the issue at hand but that your argument might come handy as well as be apropos if and when Igbo asked what Fashola has done for Igbo lately.
Mr. Adinuba, you are not alone, most people have the same problem grappling with the concept of citizenship and country especially we Africans with our strong traditional inclination. It is very easy to conflate being nice and treating people right with what it means to be a citizen of a country. I believe that is what you are caught up in.
Which brings me to the common theme that ran throughout your presentation and that is the absent of the mention of the word constitution and what that tells me is that it is either that you have never given the concept of citizenship and country a serious thought which could be the case here and for that reason you did not have a clear understanding of that subject or that you understood the concept but did not have a better answer for Fashola's policies but hoped that the character alibi will cure the deficiency in the rational for the policies. My take is that you honestly confused what the issue is and went off the reservation. There is nothing wrong in brushing up on the subject classroom wise or auto didactically.
The danger that I see in your take is that you are saying and believing one thing and supporting something else. It is my educated guess that you believe that Nigeria is a country and by extension you also believe in one Nigeria. Would it surprise you if I told you that your support of the Lagos state policy of reintegration is the most divisive, most insidious, most dangerous and most antithetical to the unity of the country that you thought you were protecting? I say this because your position is actually supporting the position of those that believe that Nigeria is not a country because of the strong separatist and irredentist tendencies in play within the country. Your position further buttresses their position that Nigeria is but three separate countries because such deportation of individuals in the name of reintegration is what countries do to the citizens of other countries. It will not surprise me if you find this concept confusing and convoluted due to your orientation. Though I still love your energy and excitement.
However, let us take your premise that you believe in one Nigeria and that there is nothing wrong in moving citizens from one place to the other under any benevolent reason, then the question will be what does it mean to be a citizen of Nigeria? This is where the rubber meets the road. Not to comprehend this basic but profound question of citizenship sets the ground for vicious, protracted and parallel arguments that can never be resolved. Your other misunderstanding is that you kept conflating the disposition of the Lagos state to do good and the welfare of an individual with the rights inherent in their citizenship. These interests are not particularly mutually exclusive but one must understand how they relate, which interest is foundational and which interest is subsidiary. If one cannot secure their citizenship then the benevolent largess is transient.
I will also like to go out on the limbs to make some assumptions that the reason why Nigeria chose to adopt the American republican representative democracy is to simulate the American system not only in the spirit of the system but in practice as well with an African flavor. What Nigeria cannot afford to do although that is exactly what we are doing is to adopt the spirit of the American system and abandon the practice which is the manifestation of the spirit. It is not enough to claim and believe verbally that we are a democracy when the evidence is absent on the ground and in the lives of the citizens. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for the fundamental principal of democracy, it is either we adopt it and practice it or we don't. When I said African flavor I did not invoke it as a substitute for the fundamentals of representative democracy.
Mr. Adinuba, I will like to use some of the points you made in your first presentation in support of Fashola as non sequitur as they are to demonstrate what citizenship is all about from the perspective of the American system we have chosen to adopt and to show how it feels and sounds . First, what citizenship means in America is that you are an American citizen in any part of American and in any state within the boundaries of America. For better understanding the citizenship of every individual is inherent, constant and automatic. Let us take two states in American as an illustration, Maryland and Oklahoma. If an individual born in New York residing in Maryland decides to relocate to Oklahoma the reasons for relocation is absolutely nobody's business per representative democracy and citizenship, the individual automatically acquires the citizenship of Oklahoma as it were without any questions asked with couple of excepts; One, is in regard to how long they must reside in Oklahoma as to specified duration required by the state in order to run for an elected office and two if the individual committed a criminal offence in Maryland which he/she could be sent back to Maryland to cure such deficiencies and return back to Oklahoma at their own volition. Other than those exceptions the individual's citizenship in Oklahoma is full and comprehensive and any reference to Maryland or New York whether in reference to place of birth or last place of abode becomes mute, inconsequential and unconstitutional. The individual becomes entitled to every right and privilege afforded to the citizen of Oklahoma. The governor of Oklahoma is by definition the governor of everybody that chooses to reside in Oklahoma period.
It is quite understandable that Mr. Adinuba actually did not understand the essence of citizenship or what it means to call a geographical area a county before he collected his money and dove head long into the salmagundi stew of polemics. The more I reread your first submission the more it becomes obvious how oblivious you were of your benign ignorance on the subject matter at hand. Let me recap your first submission. You mentioned how Enugu and Abia states expelled Igbo non-indigenes of those states a point well taken but to insinuate that there were not condemnations from all Igbo quarters will be gainsaying the fact. One thing we can agree on was that there were no strident and robust defense of the behavior of both Enugu and Abia states unlike the defense put up by the Lagos state and obviously another difference and most importantly factor is the absence of a different tribe-Yoruba. The reality of controversy is that when everybody agrees on a subject the controversy runs out of gas quickly which was the case with Enugu and Abia, the condemnation was unanimous and the controversies fizzled out except for few knuckle heads and inconsequential chatter. A controversy is fueled by disagreements but it turns into an inferno when the subject matter incurs folks who have diametrically opposing point of views as wells a portfolio of historical prepossesions. The behavior of the states of Enugu and Abia is another evidence of the ignorance surrounding the issue of citizenship. If Mr. Adinuba had known better and stayed away from the matter and Yorubas and Igbo had unanimously condemned the action of Lagos state the matter could have fizzled out but you had to make a living and you then wonder what happened.
Having said that you also mentioned how Fashola came to the aid of Igbos after fire gutted the plaza at Olodi, Apapa and his magnanimous gesture towards Ngozi Nwuso during her medical predicament. Again, I reiterate and to be blunt per constitutional democracy and citizenship, Fashola is the governor of everybody that decides to reside in Lagos simple and short. Fashola is not doing Igbos a favor he is doing exactly what a good governor does taking care of citizen that live in his state as novel as his good gestures might appear. Fashola is responsible for the welfare of every resident of Lagos without question if you understand what citizenship is all about.Your belly eking about how Obi and other governors and I hesitate to call them Igbo governors did not come to the aid of Ngozi Nwuso or the Igbos whose shops got burnt down is an expression of your on going naivety. Given the aforementioned, Obi and other governors have no business all things being equal with what happens to Igbos in Lagos because there is an inbuilt assumption in a constitutional democracy that every Nigeria deserve to be taken care of where ever they are be it in Lagos or Anambra. You can criticize Obi for not performing well in Anambra but Obi is equally responsible for every Nigeria that resides in Anambra without exception if he is discharging the duties of his office properly. So your yapping about Obi and other governors is your manifest shallowness about the issue of citizenship
You made so much ado about the failure of Anambra liaison office in Lagos to cooperate with the Lagos state government in its efforts to violate, deprive, abrogate and obliterate the constitutional rights of Nigerian citizens. First of all you should be ashamed of yourself for encouraging such torpedo of the constitution and you wonder why people are criticizing you. This is news to me that every state has liaison office in Lagos, for what? To protect their foreign citizens from the evil machinations of a foreign country Lagos nation! This is not only ridiculous but an anathema to democracy and citizens of Nigerians. Someone has to be kidding me. Let me then ask the question while I'm at it, does every state have liaison offices in all the thirty five states or is it only applicable to Lagos. The presence of liaison offices in Lagos implies the presence of foreigners, the other people who are visitors from other nations. Even Fashola said that much when he insinuated that Yorubas have been a good host to Igbo and your knucklehead concurred, I thought you were supposed to be the consultant? Fashola was supposed to be the senior advocate. Why do we even engage in this conversation if we can not comprehend this basic principal? The whole situation in Nigeria is a mess. Only foreign countries have liaison offices in other countries for the benefit of their citizens and that is what these offices represent. Why don't we simple acknowledge the fact that is biting us on the forehead that we are separate countries and end the charade?
I was not lost in Fashola's arrogance and larger than life attitude when he claimed that Obi had called him on several occasions on trivial issues in the past and wondered why Obi did not considered to extend the same courtesy this time around on what he called important issu. Can't you smell pomposity, Obi calls Fashola on trivial issues and Fashola is dealing with something this preposterous and did not consider returning the courtesy back to Obi. By implication the communication only goes one way because he is the governor Lagos. If Obi wants something Obi should call him, if Fashola is the one that wants something Obi should call him too. What a cesspool there is down there.
Mr. Adinuba, I had to take my time to break down the issue given the fact that you and your sojourners got lost in the simple but complex nature of the issue at hand. It is my reasonable appraisal that your unscholarliness on this matter is curable and should not be held against you because you are not alone.
Finally, I am particularly concerned that given all these confusion in the high and low places in the country, how in the world can we manage to redirect all the centrifugal forces pulling against the country to work for us? That is a miracle that needs to be seen. It is my hope that one day we will all arrive at that vaunted junction of truth where we can all call a spade and spade and stop wallowing in the miasma of distrust and pretenses while generations are being consumed by our failure to rise to the challenges that confront us.
Note, Igbo history and achievements are not only self-evident but self-sustaining and can not be adulterated, the fact the you stated the facts against the misinformation machine of theYorubas is not an inoculation to defend the indefensible.